Key Words

JEMfriend- A JEMfriend is any person who joins in the JEMfriends community through financial giving, volunteer hours, mentoring, participating in JEMfriends programs, prayer, meeting program needs, etc.

Aging-out (Aged-out) – is American popular culture vernacular used to describe anytime a youth leaves a formal system of care designed to provide services below a certain age level. Aging out is the process of a youth transitioning from the formal control of the foster care system towards independent living. It is used to describe anytime a foster youth leaves the varying factors of foster care, including home, school, and financial systems.

Transitioning Youth – terminology to describe that time when a young person who has been in foster care, or a similar situation, reaches age 18 when their state-provided support (foster family, financial, and other benefits) is removed and they have independent legal standing. For most youth, this happens on their 18th birthday when they no longer have anywhere to call home–anyone to call family–or anyone to go to for advice or moral support. Most youth living in foster care find this transition process to be very hard, and few succeed in transitioning without becoming “a statistic.”

Foster Care – is the term used for a system in which a minor who has been made a ward is placed in the private home of a state certified caregiver referred to as a “foster parent.”

Children’s Home – popular terminology for what has been referred to historically as an orphanage. These are homes where children in foster care have been placed on a more permanent basis due to their specific situation, which can range from failed adoptions to not having any living family members. A children’s home would also be referred to as an OPPLA (Other Planned Permanent Living Arrangement). This option allows the child to stay in custody of the state while choosing to be placed in a foster home, with a relative, an Independent Living Center, or long term care facility (for children with development disabilities, physical disabilities, or mental disabilities).

Failed adoption – terminology used to describe a case in which an adoption procedure was not able to be successful. Many times this is due to cultural barriers between the adopted child and their new parents and family, and so a higher rate of failed adoptions occur with international adoptions. When this happens, the adopted child often becomes a ward of the state and enters the foster care system or a more permanent state placement.

Support system – For most people their support system is their family. For youth leaving the foster care system they need a group of people who will stand in as their family. These private individuals and organizations can teach them life skills, help them to make healthy decisions, and encourage them through life’s rough patches.